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VIRUS OUTBREAK

SPH Reit tenants to get more help to pull through virus outbreak

Singapore

SPH Reit will give its tenants additional help to weather the Covid-19 outbreak, in the form of assistance packages tailored to individual tenants' circumstances, it said on Thursday.

The real estate investment trust (Reit) plans to engage its tenants to assess the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and adjust the packages accordingly, "as tenants with different trade types have different operating metrics", said SPH Reit chief executive officer Susan Leng.

The relief packages come on top of the 15 per cent property tax rebate announced in Budget 2020, which SPH Reit plans to pass on to qualifying tenants.

It will also introduce initiatives to raise the footfall to its assets next month, such as by offering more complimentary parking and preferential rates or full waivers for the use of atriums and/or common areas for collaborative events with tenants.

The malls under SPH Reit will continue to operate on standard hours, but tenants will be allowed to shorten hours to reduce staff costs and aid in manpower planning.

"With the outbreak of Covid-19, it is imperative that we work together to overcome the challenges and better position ourselves post Covid-19," said Ms Leng.

"The tenants' assistance scheme, together with the other initiatives, will mitigate the decline in footfall and tenant sales in our assets," she added.

SPH Reit's manager has also put in place precautionary measures such as by stepping up the cleaning and disinfecting of its malls, especially in high human-traffic areas such as toilets, lifts, refuse bins and hand rails.

Units of SPH Reit closed at S$1.03 on Thursday before the announcement, down two cents or 1.91 per cent.